Australian Painter, 1851-1942
was an Australian artist and teacher, known for his support of the Heidelberg School and for his influential art school in Sydney. Ashton was born in Addlestone, Surrey, England and arrived in Australia in 1878 with a background in the contemporary French realism of the Barbizon School, which emphasised painting en plein air (i.e. direct from nature, as opposed to studio-based painting), and which laid the basis for the Impressionist movement. As a trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales he championed emerging Australian artists of the Australian Impressionist or Heidelberg School, and the Gallery's decision to collect these works owes much to his influence. According to James Gleeson, Ashton's oil paintings, much-admired in his own lifetime,
(1889, oil on canvas on hardboard, 213.4 x 116.9 cm sheet) by Julian Ashton (1851?C1942).